The tale of Sonic is well know at this point. The worlds most famous hedgehog once stood tall with Mario during the legendary 16 bit console wars. But then came a long streak of disappointing games, some being outright terrible. Sonic Mania finally appears to be the game to get the series back on track.
Developed by Christian Whitehead, who created updated Sonic series ports for Sega, he demo begins with a reimagined Green Hill Zone. More beautiful than ever, the classic starting point for the series has different paths and obstacles than the original level. You’ll come across power ups from Sonic The Hedgehog 3, adding a new element to get through levels. While the level essentially boils down to being a remix/greatest hits, it manages to be quite fun and an entertaining starting point for the game.
The standout of the game however was the completely new level, Studiopolis Zone. Taking place in a TV station, the level is a classic 16-bit Sonic stroke of genius. Sonic can be teleported through satellite signals, deploy film strips, and spin his way through a film reel. The level harkens back to the more complex levels from Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD.
The game looks visually striking. Sega went with the Genesis-era look with the game, only this time presented in HD. The blues and greens in the first stage look absolutely beautiful. Studiopolis is visually complex and full of intricate level design. Sonic himself is full of new and fluid animations, making him classically charismatic like the days of old.
The demo only featured two 1 act stages, but if they can maintain the high quality over the course of the whole game, Sonic Mania will be a masterful return to form.
Sonic Mania launches spring 2017.
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